Microsoft held back their big 2016 games at E3 this year, which arguably hurt them in the short term as their rivals merrily splurged on loads of big yet depressingly distant games.
However, Xbox is set to make some serious noise at Gamescom in August, at which Microsoft will be going in heavy with Scalebound, Crackdown and Quantum Break just for starters. Considering that Sony won't be holding a presser and Nintendo are Nintendo, they have an open goal and a prime opportunity to wow us with their upcoming wares.Click here to read more...
We'll have to wait until Gamescom to learn more about Crackdown, Scalebound and Quantum Break, the latter of which was delayed into 2016. Does that mean that Crackdown and Scalebound have suffered a similar fate?Click here to read more...
I've been playing a great deal of Sunset Overdrive recently. My hands are tied until our full review goes live next week, but for now, I can confirm our earlier assertions that it feels like an outrageous and anarchic mash-up of Crackdown and Jet Set Radio Future. Only twice as meta.
Ah, Crackdown and Jet Set Radio Future. Two truly excellent Xbox exclusives from generations past -- has it really been seven and twelve years?! -- that I'd dearly love to revisit. If only we had some sort of semi-regular article format where we glorify classics from yesteryear and explain why they still have a place in our hearts through rose-tinted spectacles.
Oh wait. We do. It's time to reboot Blast From The Past, and I think there's only one place to start. We'll cover Jet Set Radio Future next week... and start with one hell of a super-sandbox, agent.
Click here to read more...
Crackdown is indeed coming to the Xbox One, confirmed today by a suitably ridiculous CG trailer during Microsoft's E3 press conference.
Expect killing criminals with guns, destructible buildings, killing criminals by throwing cars at them, a variety of vehicles, killing goons by blowing them up and generally inflicting as much insane police brutality as possible in a massive cel-shaded playground.
Hopefully. Series creator Dave Jones and Scottish studio Cloudgine have yet to show us any gameplay, but frankly we've been waiting long enough. Let's have it. I've just gotta get those pendulous orbs.
Let's start with the good news: Microsoft is keen to bring the Crackdown franchise to a new console generation by finding a UK-based team who are up to the challenge, and bring a distinctly British feel to the cel-shaded sandbox fun factory.
The bad news, however, is that Crackdown 3 may not actually be under development yet.Click here to read more...
The first day of Gamescom is at an end. The press conferences are over, the headlines are typed up and both Matt and Carl are currently crushing a whole bunch of next-gen games to bring you hands-on impressions from the bleeding edge.
However, now that's all done and dusted, it's time to pick apart the biggest headlines of the day and discuss some of the most genuinely surprising revelations we learned over the last 24 hours. Even though Sony's press conference was more sedate that we expected, there were still a fair few megatons to drop...
PopCap plans to push the limits of next-generation hardware with their upcoming sequel, which has surprisingly chosen Xbox One as lead platform. As opposed to, say, iOS.
It's an odd state of affairs, but hey, we've got a fever. An extreme fever. And the only prescription is... well, you know.Click here to read more...
Following some (totally accurate) rumours yesterday, Crackdown has become the latest free 'Game With Gold' on Xbox Live. Gold members can download it for free, and probably should, since this cel-shaded sandbox fun factory is utterly brilliant.
What do you make of this new selection?
A polish retailer may have spilled the beans on the next wave of free games for Xbox Live Gold members.Click here to read more...
E3 2013 is going to be utterly insane. With the next console generation breathing down our necks, the 'Big Three' of Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo are going head to head in a battle for hearts, minds and pre-orders. Coy digs will be taken. Terrible teleprompted jokes will be cracked. Dubstep will reign supreme.
Sadly, I won't be attending personally this year (of all years, argh!), but I've danced this dance enough times to know broadly what to expect from the all-important press conferences scheduled for June 10th. Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo will use this platform to address us directly; showing us exclusives, revealing entirely new franchises and confirming third-party support. We've pieced together everything we know so far, as well as our own experiences at E3 from previous years, to present you with a comprehensive breakdown of what the three console manufacturers will bring to the table.
Note that the following article is one part confirmed fact, two parts informed guesswork and a soupçon of rampant drooling speculation. I've endeavoured to make it clear which is which - and of course, there'll still be plenty of surprises along the way!
Let's start with the Redmond heavyweight, since they'll be holding their press conference first and have been making headlines aplenty over the last fortnight. Microsoft will look to supplement (and in many ways, make up for) the Xbox One's entertainment-loaded reveal event with a presentation concentrating on games, exclusives, DLC announcements and features.Click here to read more...
The hours of gameplay ratio per pound here is excellent. Crackdown tools you up with extreme abilities in a futuristic open-world setting that sees you jumping between skyscrapers before leaping down to deliver an ass-kicking with the weight of the moon behind it. Mass Effect is the first step into a sci-fi trilogy unlike any other as you control the story throughout with your choices directly affecting who lives or dies in this third-person shooter RPG.
Thanks to moneybanks14 at HotUkDeals.
If you missed out on this deal a month and a half ago when Lydia highlighted it then you’re in luck; HMV have brought it back, making it £3 cheaper than the next retailers. You’re effectively getting two great early Xbox 360 classics for £6.50 each with this double pack. Containing Crackdown with all its agility orb hunting and action packed madness, and Mass Effect for your dose of alien hunting and RPG goodness, it’s a sci-fi bundle worth getting, especially if you have managed to avoid these titles until now. Thanks to Chuckles1001 @ HUKD!
I don't think we've covered as many double pack deals in such a short space of time, here at Dealspwn. But the deluge continues, with Base now bundling Crackdown and Mass Effect for the cut-price of £15.99. A pretty great deal, all in all. Not familiar with either, though? Well, Mass Effect is space-opera at its finest, putting you in the boots of one Commander Shepard, who must stop a race of machines from eradicating all life in the galaxy. Crackdown is a little less elegant, dumping you in the playground of destruction that is Pacific City.
A massive, cracking deal here for a great alliance of games. Crackdown offers a rush of action and some very addictive gameplay, not to mention the agility orbs that have plagued Felix's days and nights for so long. However it does feel a tiny bit shallow which is part of what makes Mass Effect such a great partner for the game. The first instalment of the sci-fi epic offers a superb story and some fantastic and very memorable characters, not least the kick ass protagonist (whether you choose to make your Shepard a heroic paragon or a hard hearted renegade), with gameplay that is very fun, if perhaps lack the adrenaline kick to be found in Crackdown. Thanks to SmashInt at HUKD!
It's February 2007, at precisely 7:30 PM. Having just wrenched myself from a mammoth four hour Crackdown-session, I head down to the shops for some diabetes-inducing nourishment. As I walk past the rows of terraced housing, the roads slick with rainfall, I find my gaze drawn to the rooftops and windowsills. I'm not sure why, but I scan the five hundred yard stretch of road until I reach the bend. Then it suddenly dawns on me; I was looking for Agility Orbs.
I have a serious problem.
I have to ask; why do we love Agility Orbs? After all, they're just static power-ups located across the environment in abundant numbers. Some require an approximation of skill to reach, but they're a passive pick-up with a passive effect. I didn't have the same love, say, for the Blast Shards in Infamous, despite serving a largely identical purpose.Click here to see why we're obsessed with Agility Orbs
Jon recently broke the news that Ruffian Games has moved on to other projects since releasing Crackdown 2. Considering Ruffian was established for the sole purpose of delivering a sequel to Crackdown - a sequel, I might add, that topped the UK charts - it's not hard to imagine at least one of their new projects is the third entry in the series. And Ruffian has already confirmed they'd love to do a sequel.
But what can we expect? Or, more importantly, what do we want?
Assembled by former Real Time Worlds Staff, Ruffian Games was established a mere year and a half before Crackdown 2 released. Now, a year to produce a fully-fledged sequel is a tall order, and as such Ruffian had to make certain compromises. For one, they did very little to Pacific City. A few major structures were built, a lot more were demolished, but by and large Crackdown and Crackdown 2 were set in a largely identical playground.
So with Crackdown 3, I'd like to see a brand new city. In fact, with the ability to run faster than a sports car, leap tall buildings in a single bound and even fly - pretty much - C3 shouldn't be restricted to a mere city. An entire region, with urban sprawls giving way to lush fields or golden deserts. Ruffian attempted to introduce new environments into Crackdown 2, but the so-called Freak Lairs simply felt like a chunk had been bitten from Pacific City's crust and painted with a rock texture and fog.
But in their blog post, Ruffian claim their new game(s) will include a "heavy focus online". You could interpret that as their next project being an MMO, but with both Crackdown titles already containing pseudo-MMO qualities, it might not. However, with an emphasis on multiplayer components, you need big, big playgrounds to avoid overcrowding and bottlenecks. So a new city isn't outside the realm of possibility...
Click here to read the rest of Felix's article...
If a clinical psychoanalyst conducted a thorough study of our gaming habits, I expect we'd be branded as borderline kleptomaniacs. Whether it's hoarding loot or searching every nook and cranny for the inexplicable scattering of hidden treasure, we simply must have it all. Often it serves no other purpose than to achieve this particular feat, rather than benefiting your in-game character or social standing.
As if that matters. As a kid, I couldn't resist the urge of Mario's stars or Sonic's emeralds, and I'm a little worried by my reaction to hearing a throbbing, rhythmic hum as I then begin searching my surroundings for Agility Orbs. As such, I thought it was only prudent we collect a list of our favorite videogame collectibles, whether we've found them all or not! So, may we present The Top 10 Videogame Collectibles!
I've always felt like inFamous is the Playstation 3's answer to Crackdown, and if you can't have Agility Orbs, you must settle for Blast Shards. Scattered across Empire City, often nestled on windowsills or overhangs, you must employ Cole's echo location-like 'ping' ability to discover their location. I made a point of collecting all of inFamous' Blast Shards, having been foiled by Agility Orbs.
Fallout 3 is an enormous game packed to the brim with hidden quests, forgotten relics and, yes, Pip Boy Bobble Heads. They're incredibly difficult to find if, like me, you don't rely on the internet or guides. You can't 'ping' your surroundings or find a map or compass to help guide you. They don't emit a pulsating green glow or begin chanting melodically. But when you stumble on one, sitting on a shelf or in an old shack, it's quite special.
I was a big fan of Ubisoft's Nolan North-starring Prince of Persia reboot. I can understand the complaints, but it was a bold reinvention with some big ideas. And I was quite addicted to finding all the Agility Orb-inspired Light Seeds flung across the sheer rock walls and seemingly unassailable structures. Part of the appeal was actually reaching them, as despite PoP's oddly linear platforming flow, it was genuinely difficult mastering the controls to gather all the rows of Light Seeds.
Banjo & Kazooie have numerous collectibles, but I always found my time spent searching for Musical Notes. To begin with, collecting Notes opened Note Doors, vital to your progression, whereas in the much-maligned Nuts and Bolts, Notes were simply a currency. But they're still one of my favorite videogame collectibles, and I was rather proud when I found the entire lot.
You hear a rustling. Clicking up on the C-Stick, you gaze around the land of Hyrule or whatever dungeon you're currently conquering, and spot a gold-ish spider the size of a small dog shuffling round and round. Gathering Gold Skulltulas is quite the adventure, as they often require a specific gadget, like the Hookshot, to reach and retrieve, requiring a far bit of backtracking.
In Halo, collecting the dozen or so Skulls scattered across forgotten alien artifacts, war-torn cities and Covenant cruisers, not only achieves a sense of accomplishment but actually affects the game itself. Skulls can make the Covenant better at dodging grenades, or force you to replenish health by clubbing foe with your gun. They're often hidden in the most unlikely of places, and require a very keen mind.
Make no mistake, Pokemon are collectibles. Some are so difficult to find and legendary in stature, they're virtually mythic, whereas others are so useless they're inclusion is baffling, ala Magicarp. But Pokemon declares its intentions from the off; Gotta' Catch 'Em All! I did, at least on Red and Blue, although I struggled in later games as the roster grew. I spent months searching for Entei, that damn roving cat.
Oh, Stars. How I adore thee. Any self-respecting fan of Mario has fallen victim to the Star quest, collecting all the plump little things scattered across Mario's fantastic adventures. I was obsessed - literally, I dreamed of finding Stars - with finding all of Mario 64's Stars, and had the entire game-world mapped out in my head I'd searched it so much. Not exactly the healthiest pursuit, I imagine.
Sonic was my first game on the Sega Mega Drive, so it holds a place dear to my heart. My first experience with finding videogame collectibles was the search for Emeralds scattered up and down Sonic's 2D landscapes. I can't quite remember their function, or why it was so important to collect them, but I just couldn't shake the urge to seek them out, and the feeling of finding them has yet to be matched. Until...
Would I be wrong in claiming at least half, maybe more, of Crackdown's appeal isn't throwing cars and bandits around with merry abandon or driving an SUV bristling with remote explosives into a truck, but finding all the Agility Orbs scattered like luminous confetti across Pacific City? I was, quite literally, addicted to Agility Orbs. I understand why the term 'Crack' is included in the title. Very meta. And yet, despite my addiction which once had me gazing out my window's at the neighbors' rooftops for a green, pulsing sphere, I'm still, still on 499 Agility Orbs. I refuse to bow to walkthroughs. I shall find it, one day...
What are your favorite videogame collectibles? As always, leave your feedback in the comments section below.
The original Crackdown was a fun and addictive adventure set in a sandbox world that was a blast to explore but the experience ended far too quickly.
You can buy the sequel for £23.93 from The Hut at the moment, this is only a pound less than the next best price of £24.95 from Zavvi but after this it shoots up by an extra £4 to £29.
Taking on the role of The Agent, working for the city-funded Agency, you are a souped-up and super powered officer, roaming the streets of Pacific City which have fallen into mayhem and anarchy. It is ten years after the first Crackdown and after a brief spell of peace, series of events have resulted in a virus being unleashed upon the people of Pacific City, turning them mindless and monstrous, with a thirst for violence. It is up to you to sort out this and the city's myriad other problems.
By and large it is a very similar affair to the first Crackdown. Much like the original game, there's plenty of fun in roaming the mean streets of Pacific City but the actual tasks involved in the main narrative become monotonous far too quickly and the story itself lacks pace.
There's a lot of enjoyment to be found in Crackdown 2 but it's hard to shake the feeling that we've seen it all before and, personally, I'd prefer to wait until it's dipped well below the £20 mark before investing in a copy.
Thanks to leeds_united_afc at Hotukdeals!
I can sum up the entirety of Crackdown 2's "missions" in one sentence: standing still. Reactivating the Absorption Units requires your superhuman Agent, who can leap buildings in a single bound, hoist helicopters above his head and drive SUVs like The Stig, to simply stand still and fill up a meter. It's beyond lazy. To include this as the foundation for the majority of Crackdown 2's "missions" is almost criminal. Forty pounds spent, ten seconds wasted, over and over again.
And yet, why am I still playing Crackdown 2? Why can't I put the controller down and admit my defeat in the quest for finding all the Agility Orbs, or catching that one lone Driving Orb on the Los Muertos highway, or simply attaching as many objects as possible to the Agency helicopter and swinging it around like a makeshift wrecking-ball. I can't stop playing Crackdown 2, and I don't know why.
The obvious answer is Agility Orbs. Yes, those pulsing green spheres of wonder, scattered across Pacific City in a devilishly complex breadcrumb-like fashion, sprinkled on rooftops, perched on monuments, or simply sat atop the crest of a hillside. It's such a simple pleasure, and yet so addicting. Literally. I can play Crackdown and its sequel simply to find Agility Orbs. I'm on 499 in the original, 492 in the sequel. It's maddening.
But why do I, and so many others, love finding Agility Orbs? I suppose, unlike most other games with collectible trinkets, Agility Orbs actually serve a purpose. Gather enough to fill up your meter, and soon you'll be jumping higher and higher. It's a two-way relationship, as in order to reach the loftiest Orbs, you'll need to have gathered their lower-down brethren first, in order to ascend the heights. That pulsing sound, letting you know you're getting closer, followed by the sprinkling soundbite of a dozen Agility points being absorbed into your cybernetic body, is one of this generation's finest moments.
What's also obvious is that gamers are collectorholics. We love, nay, need to collect things. The audio-logs in Bioshock, the pigeons in GTA, the terminals in Halo 3, and, yes, the Agility Orbs in Crackdown. 500 to collect, along with 300 Hidden Orbs, nestled in Pacific City's nooks and crannies, their ranks bolstered by the inclusion of Renegade Orbs, Agility variants that skim across rooftops or Driving ones which zoom across the roads and back-alleys. Along with the audio-logs, 75 I believe, that's almost 1000 collectibles in Crackdown 2's toy-box. And the key to its appeal, no less.Click here to read the rest of Felix's article...
Time to revisit our favourite, and not so favourite, videogame endings once again. In this second volume of climactic conclusions and failed finales, we'll remember titles which wrenched on our heart-strings, spiked our adrenal glands and itched our annoyance receptors. But beware, spoilers ahoy!
Ignoring the awful Reaper fetus showdown, the climactic level of Mass Effect 2 is a surprisingly emotional experience. The knowledge that members of your team who die remain dead, is shocking, especially when you consider the effort you invested to recruit their service and loyalty. Once you blast that Terminator wannabe into the abyss, and cast your eyes over the shattered remnants of your squad, you're reminded of the sacrifices of war.
The final scene, of an army of Reapers descending upon your galaxy, just makes the wait for revenge that much harder!
What's disappointing about Bioshock, is that a perfectly fitting finale is included in the latter portions of the game. Your showdown with Andrew Ryan, the discovery that you're his genetic heir and an unwitting pawn in his feud with Fontaine, would have been a bold, unconventional way to end what was already an original experience.
So maybe you should just stop playing Bioshock after that point? It's not like the game ends with a cheesy boss-fight against a steroid-infused Gears of War reject, is it? Oh.
As far as subtitles go, Metal Gear Solid 3's a winner. It's also, in my humble, entirely unbiased, well-judged and astute opinion, the best iteration in the Metal Gear Solid series, both in terms of gameplay, story and emotional investment. No scene demonstrates this better than the final shot of Snake placing a bouquet of flowers and a pistol on The Boss' unmarked grave. Even badass soldiers with eye-patches can shed a cyclopic tear.
But it's not over. With the credits rolled, and your hand extended towards the PS2, finger poised over the power-button, Ocelot can be heard on the phone to the CIA director, revealing his wonderfully twisted, triple-crossed plans have come to fruition. Epic.
So not only do you endure a painfully simple final boss-fight with an Imulsion-pumped Brumak, which is a shame considering the epic tunnel crawl atop the hulking beast, mowing down the fleeing Locust horde and wrestling Corpsers. But then, as Jacinto's foundation collapses and the city plunges into the ocean, it all ends. Is any explanation given for the paradoxically human Locust Queen? Or just what those tentacle-writhing beasts were in the AI-controlled laboratory?
Nope. But we do get to see Marcus and Anya exchange simmering looks from across a helicopter. Yeah. That's exactly what I play Gears of War for. Sexual tension between a Duke Nukem wannabe and a Cortana ripoff.See what other endings delighted and irked Felix by clicking here...